At KGS Bikes,How Many Bikes Do I Need? Articles we have many people who come into the showroom and say, “I want to get to the next level in cycling, and I can afford the same equipment that the top professionals use. How many bikes do I need, and what should I get?” When we look at the pros who could get whatever they want, we find that they use a small number of bikes with different roles. Here are the roles we find that work best for them, and we then apply this model to cyclists who wish to have the best:
This is the primary “everyday” bicycle. Almost all of the top racing cyclists and a growing number of active recreational riders use power meters. We recommend either an SRM or a PowerTap to compliment a sturdy road bike. We specify a stiff yet comfortable frame with Campagnolo Record or Chorus components (unless the client insists on Shimano, but that is another story!), and a set of light but sturdy wheels like the Reynolds Alta Race or Spinergy Xero Lite. We develop the road “fit” model to work around this bike, as most of the time will be spent on it to improve form and technique. Triathletes will also spend most of their time on this bike, learning to ride fast and improving handling skills by riding safely in groups with the faster riders.
2) Light road bike for climbing, spare bike when primary bike is in maintenance, and for “Mental Health” rides.
The climbing bike is a very efficient, lightweight machine which has a geometry similar to the primary bike, but with lighter components, and no powermeter. When training using power, it is easy to get focused on the numbers and to lose much of the sensory input we get from a “pure” bike ride. We like to advise that one bike has no more than a minimal computer, Garmin Edge, or even nothing at all, so one can either race by feel, or ride for the sake of riding. Many times the light bike comes out for recovery rides, for fun group rides, and for aggressive group rides in the hills. We also find that many people like to put more exotic components on the climbing bikes, which have less use and can thus have more “delicate” components.
3) Time Trial bike.
This bike is only necessary for triathletes, and for people who want to do time trials. We do not recommend this as the “only” bike, as we strongly discourage riding time trial bikes in fast groups. These bikes do not handle as well, and if one is in the aero bars, one cannot safely take part in an echelon. Team time trials are different, of course, and training for them can and should be done on this bike. We believe that if one can ride fast, straight and smooth on a road bike, that transitioning to the time trial bike is easy, and can be done effectively and safely.
4) Travel Case or Travel Bike.
There are pros and cons for each. It is really nice to travel and ride. Using a case allows one to use their bike and go anywher